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  •  It's so disturbing to me that taking a human life (15+ / 0-)

    should be so easy, with so little thought, just such a callous disregard for humanity.

    I alway wonder how the contractors that do these things can go on living and manage to retain any sliver of their sanity at all.

    I can understand defending yourself when your under attack. What is a person supposed to do when they're being shot at, having bombs thrown at them, or something similarly completely unimaginable for me... but I imagine that even self-defense probably has some kind of survivor's guilt attached to it for your average person.

    Killing your fellow human beings just isn't a normal thing to do and I imagine that self-defense combat situations have to account for a lot of the PTSD cases. Killing, even in self-defense just is not something most people are wired to do. Even if you knew it was them or you, that you didn't have a choice... Even then I think taking life would have to bother a person. I can't imagine it is something you'd just get over easily or forget, you know?

    The thing is... These stories we're reading about Contractors... Too often the accounts do not add up to self-defense. Shooting at a carload of women and children, just because they didn't get out of your way fast enough? I can imagine anyone that held the sanctity of human life in any kind of regard could do such a thing.

    These stories, they're just such inhuman behavior. I can't understand how anyone could do such a thing and live with themselves. I really can't.  

    "It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion." Oscar Wilde, 1891

    by MichiganGirl on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 02:28:32 AM PDT

    •  Would you please consider running for President? (4+ / 0-)

      These stories, they're just such inhuman behavior. I can't understand how anyone could do such a thing and live with themselves. I really can't.  

    •  This is what happens (5+ / 0-)

      when you put people above the law.

      All part and parcel Cheney's 1% doctrine.

      -6.5, -7.59. "We can't replace corporate Republicans with corporate Democrats", John Edwards, Oct 7, 2007

      by DrWolfy on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 03:23:06 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  PTSD (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      BentLiberal, MichiganGirl, LaFajita

      I'm no expert on the matter, but I once read that GI's who reached the German concentration camps experienced less psychological trauma than those who didn't, because it helped make sense of the carnage they had witnessed. I also read about a soldier who returned from Iraq, a woman, who couldn't stop ruminating, because she could not find a rational reason for the deaths of her comrades. What makes Iraq even worse in terms of PTSD than WWII is that there is no front line. Our soldiers are on edge 24/7 because the enemy can be anywhere and even shells their bases.

      Killing your fellow human beings just isn't a normal thing to do and I imagine that self-defense combat situations have to account for a lot of the PTSD cases. Killing, even in self-defense just is not something most people are wired to do.

      I study evolution, and this is an intriguing question. Killing members of one's own species isn't unusual: among mammals, males sometimes kill the infants of females to prevent them from "wasting" resources raising another male's offspring, and to make them available for themselves. Males also sometimes kill each other in combat, whether in a fight for resources or showing off. I haven't read of any studies, but I would imagine that killing in self-defense doesn't have consequences as severe as killing repeatedly in war, seeing mutilated bodies, etc., because it's sometimes necessary to protect yourself against aggression.

      One hypothesis about depression is that it's a mechanism that protects against self-imposed social isolation; in social species, being isolated is bad evolutionarily because it leaves one vulnerable and obviously unable to mate. Leave the group and feel bad; rejoin the group and feel better. PTSD doesn't fit this pattern at all, since it doesn't seem reversible (not that depression always is). Maybe seeing a body chopped into pieces causes permanent scars and locks the brain into an unnatural state from which it can't escape.

      Again, I'm no expert. Just "thinking outloud".

      Clark '08 -6.88/-5.54

      by DrReason on Wed Oct 10, 2007 at 05:58:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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